Wednesday, February 22, 2017

USAID turns over hydrological, meteorological map for Iloilo City

From the Philippine News Agency (Feb 22): USAID turns over hydrological, meteorological map for Iloilo City

The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Be Secure Project turned over to the city government Hydrological and Meteorological Map of Iloilo City, Wednesday.

City Planning and Development Office (CPDO) coordinator Jose Roni J. Peñalosa, who accompanied former Environment Secretary and now Be Secure Project Leader Elisea Gozon during the turnover, said the map reflects villages that are vulnerable to climate change-induced hazards such as typhoons, flood, sea-level rise, drought and strong winds.

The analytical map, he said, identified coastal barangays that will experience increased rainfall events for the next years until 2040.

The map likewise showed the increasing temperatures that can be felt by the city’s coastal areas because of the heat coming from the ocean.

The map was gathered in collaboration with the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical Astronomical Service Administration (PAG-ASA) and Manila Observatory that partnered with Be Secure to generate simulations and projections of the climate change, he said.

Peñalosa said the Hydrological and Meteorological Map is not new for Iloilo City. In 2013, the UN Habitat also conducted vulnerability and adaptation assessment for city barangays after Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog sought their assistance in preparing for disasters.

A year after, the UN Habitat turned over to the city government a report showing similar hydro-meteorological data.

Peñalosa said the city’s adaptation measures to flooding has increased as a result of government putting so much investments on re-engineering for drainage and preparing communities to respond to the impacts of flooding.

However, the 2014 report showed that its small efforts on drought made this city vulnerable to drought.

“That’s what makes big investments on construction of deep wells, rainwater harvesting facilities, among others,” he said.

Meanwhile, the updated map, he said, will impact on the planning aspect, especially on how to maximize this city’s resources. It will guide the city government as it currently undertakes preparations to update its Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP), Comprehensive Development Plan, Local Climate Change Action Plan and the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) Plan.

“Hazard data change every now and then because while we do a forecast you can never tell exactly if it will happen or not. What we have today are more recent figures and statistics. These data are very relevant for more appropriate interventions,” Peñalosa added.

The result will be explained in detail to barangay leaders on March 2 during their meeting.

“If this will be communicated to our barangays in a clearer manner, they would be able to really prioritize their spending,” he said.

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